Who Is God? Ancient Origin Myths Many creation myths exist. Nearly every culture from Native American to Chinese, Hindu to ancient Norse, have legends or myths that attempt to explain how the earth and universe began. These myths are obvious fiction. The Enuma Elish, was discovered on seven clay tablets in the late 1800s. It is an ancient Babylonian myth about the origin of their gods and the beginning of the world. "When on high the heaven had not been named, Firm ground below had not been called by name, Naught but primordial Apsu, their begetter, (And) Mummu-Tiamat, she who bore them all...Then it was that the gods were formed within them. . .troubled the mood of Tiamat by their hilarity in the Abode of Heaven . . . Apsu, opening his mouth, Said unto resplendent Tiamat: 'Their ways are verily loathsome unto me by day I find no relief, nor repose by night. I will destroy, I will wreck their ways, That quiet may be restored. Let us have rest!' (Now) whatever they had plotted between them, Was repeated unto the gods . . . Surpassing in wisdom, accomplished, resourceful, Ea, the all-wise, saw through their scheme...When Apsu he had made prone, drenched with sleep, Mummu, the adviser, was powerless to stir He loosened his band, tore off his tiara, Removed his halo (and) put it on himself. Having fettered Apsu, he slew him. Mummu he bound and left behind lock . . .."1 This story was written sometime in the 12th century BC. To our educated modern minds it seems a far-fetched and silly attempt to explain concepts beyond their grasp. Modern Origin Myths Many people today believe in equally unprovable explanations of how we got here. These explanations require believing some really wild assumptions. For example, a philosophy called materialism assumes the following unproven statements to be fact: 1. Matter is all that exists. 2. Matter originated itself. 3. No divine intervention has ever happened. 4. God has not revealed to us details about the past. None of these statements can be proven or demonstrated. Yet many people firmly believe them to be true. To believe in something you personally cannot prove is to exercise faith. The most common faith based on materialism is the Theory of Evolution. It takes materialism's unprovable assumptions and tries to explain the origin of everything. It makes own unprovable assumptions: 1. Matter developed from Nothing (explanations include the famous "Big Bang"). 2. Living matter developed from non-living matter. 3. Complex multi-celled organisms developed from simple single-celled organisms. 4. Intelligent moral creatures developed from non-intelligent amoral matter. 5. Religions result from human yearnings not supernatural revelation. Faith in this theory influences many vocal scientists. In turn, they interpret historic evidence and scientific exploration in light of these unprovable assumptions. Unfortunately, they claim to be presenting scientific fact, when they are really offering explanations based on their faith. Faith vs. Fact Facts do not speak for themselves. Your age is a fact. But what does it mean? Nothing by itself. Facts are usually only useful for answering questions. Let's say we want to answer the question, "Are you old enough to legally drive a car?" Now your age becomes important. But, without knowing the legal age-limit, your age is still a useless fact. By itself, your age is a meaningless fact. But compared to the fact of the driving age-limit, it gains meaning. Now the fact tells us whether you are old enough to drive, or not. Let's say we find a fossil in an archeological dig. What does that fossil mean? Nothing by itself. It does not come stamped with the answers to our questions. It doesn't say how old it is or how it died or why it was there. To figure those things out we rely on other facts and assumptions. We can determine the physical facts about the fossil, such as its size, location of discovery, and chemical content. But to give them meaning, we need questions. Question #1: What is it? Well, we can compare its size with fossils of similar size to try to identify it. Oh, looks like a fish! Question #2: How did it get in our archaeological dig in a desert? We don't know. But we can take some guesses. If we found the fish fossil near a wolf fossil we might guess that a wild animal carried it here. If we found other signs that water was once here, we could guess that the fish died in a body of water that used to cover the desert. We might be able to make good or bad guesses, depending on how many facts we have and how many assumptions. Question #3: How old is it? No idea. We might be able to guess by comparing some of its chemicals with chemicals in similar animals alive today. But that process involves several assumptions. For example, we have to assume how much of the chemical the animal originally contained. Even if we know how long it takes the chemical to decay, we have to assume the decay rate was constant. What if we knew the age of the rocks we found it in? Even worse problem. Most rocks are dated using incredible assumptions based on faith in evolution. If the assumptions are wrong, then the interpretations based on them are wrong. Materialism and evolution are based on unprovable assumptions. It takes faith to believe in them. Geneticist Richard Lewontin, a strong supporter of evolutionary biology, says that evolution is a biased way of looking at things, regardless of the facts: "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfil many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept the material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door [Emphasis in original]."2 Certainly this kind of bias does not rely on impartial scientific fact. Yet, we are often led to believe that science is fact, but religion is faith. In reality, evolution is just as dependent on faith as is religion. Chemist Jonathan Sarfati, a strong advocate of Creationist science, offers the following comment: "Creationists don't pretend that any knowledge, science included, can be pursued without presuppositions (i.e. prior religious/philisophical beliefs). Creationists affirm that creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the Bible any more than evolution can ultimately be divorced from its naturalistic [materialistic] starting point that excludes divine creation a priori."3 Wernher von Braun, "Father of the American Space Program," and also a Creationist wrote: "Manned space flight is an amazing achievement, but it has opened for mankind thus far only a tiny door for viewing the awesome reaches of space. An outlook through this peephole at the vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator. I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advance of science."4 Finding An Origins Answer The best proof of past events is a reliable eyewitness account. Because evolutionists reject divine intervention in human affairs, they refuse the possibility that God has recorded exactly how matter and life (and humanity) came into being. So, evolutionists rely on their faith in materialism to help them explain origins. Biblical Creationists believe that God, who was there at the origin, recorded His accurate eyewitness account in the book of Genesis, in the Bible. Furthermore, accurate facts can be honestly and reasonably interpreted to support this claim. We can know how we got here, by turning to the Bible to see what God says. The Bible is God's story. So Who Is God, Anyway? What is God? Is he a mortal like us? Is he made of flesh and blood? No. God is spirit. His essence is not made of matter. He is intelligence without matter, yet controlling all matter. John 4:24 says, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." Because of this, God transcends matter. He does not begin and end as matter does. He does not change like matter does. He does not require matter for His existence. He changes and controls matter. He can supervise all matter at once. The Bible shows us these truths and others about God's nature: 1. God is eternal-He alone lasts forever. All matter has a beginning and an ending, but God always exists. Psalms 90:2, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God." 2. God is changeless-He is perfect and does not change, nor can he alter His nature. James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." 3. God is self-sufficient-He does not need anyone or anything, having existed before all of the material creation existed. Isaiah 40:28, "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding." 4. God is everywhere all the time-Not that He is everything, and everything is Him. Rather, He can be present at every place in every instance because of his unique nature. Psalm 139:7-10, "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." 5. God possesses all power-He has complete control over the matter He created. In Luke 1:37 we read, "For with God nothing shall be impossible." 6. God knows everything-God is completely aware of everything in all parts of His creation. Psalm 147:5 tells us, "Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite." 7. God is trinity-He is one God, yet has three distinct personalities. Matthew 28:19, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" Notice that the word "name" is singular and is purposely recorded as singular. Notice Genesis 1:26, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Again, notice the purposeful use of the plural ("us" and "ours") when describing the singular action of one God. The Bible clearly teaches that God is One God, yet comprised of three distinct persons. 8. God is the only god-There is no such creature as a semi-divine, almost all-powerful being as depicted in Greek and Roman mythologies. Aside from human imagination, there is no such thing as a "god." The only God is the one true God, the all-powerful, fully divine being who created all that exists. In Isaiah 45:5 we read, "I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:" We further read in, Isaiah 45:22, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."

Lesson #2 Review

1.What is “materialism”?

2.What assumptions form the basis for the Theory of Evolution?

3.How do facts obtain meaning?

4.How is much of modern science biased with regard to origins?

5.Why have some scientists still believed in Creation even when many of their colleagues chose evolution?

6.How can we know what happened “in the beginning”?